Genetically modified organisms (GMOs), organisms that have been genetically altered that cannot occur in nature, change many aspects of a standard modern diet. In the developed world, 80% of all foods consumed contain GM ingredients. Although some countries have begun to label GM foods, 135 countries are still in the dark as to whether or not what they are eating is genetically modified.
GM crops can add more nutritional value to a diet, because foods can now be engineered to contain more essential vitamins and nutrients, boosting our health. Genetic engineering can increase the prevalent amounts of vitamins in foods, for a more well-rounded meal. For example, across Asia and sub-saharan Africa, vitamin A deficiencies not only cause widespread blindness, but lack of vitamin A also kills 670,000 children under age five each year. Other sources of vitamin A, such as sweet potatoes and carrots, are not grown in the areas and are much too costly to import. Now, scientists have found a way to modify rice to contain beta-carotene, the source of vitamin A, which is helping millions of these people in Africa and Asia by providing an affordable source of vitamin A that is curing their vitamin A deficiencies by including the beta-carotene in what was already their main food crop. GM foods add nutrients to our diet by incorporating necessary vitamins and minerals into foods which we already consume daily.
This not only boosts health in the developed world, but also fights malnutrition, a condition that develops when the body is not consuming enough nutrients for healthy bodily functions. 870 million people suffer from malnutrition. However, increasing the number of GM foods in a standard diet can increase the amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in the global diet, which can assist in fighting malnutrition. GMOs can also help in the fight against hunger, because crops can be genetically modified to produce more food. GM seeds can ensure that farmers can produce bigger and more reliable crops, which help farmers produce more food for themselves and for consumers worldwide. GMOs may be the only way for the supply of crops to keep up with the demand for food in our society with its ever-increasing population, which is predicted to cross 12 billion by the year 2050. The acceleration of the growth of food production has declined in the past ten years, and we will need the high-yielding GM seeds to keep up will global consumption, and continue to fight widespread hunger and malnutrition.
Not only do GMOs increase nutrients in food, they can also substitute for vaccines. GM foods can be modified to contain a vaccine, which in many cases is more preferable and just as effective as undergoing an injection, especially much more preferable for children. Vaccines in food increase the chance of receiving a vaccine and the accessibility of vaccines in developing countries. Not only can GMOs be engineered to contain vaccines, but also other...